SACRAMENTO – When the Legislature reconvened for the 2021-2022 session last week, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (Thousand Oaks – D) introduced AB 99, the Cradle-to-Career Data System Act. By linking California’s existing education, workforce, financial aid, and social service information, policymakers, educators, and the public will be empowered to better address disparities in opportunities and improve outcomes for all students throughout the state.
“Given the learning loss and disproportionate impacts associated with the COVID-19 crisis, this data system will be critical in identifying and targeting resources where they are most needed to close equity gaps,” Assemblymember Irwin said. “Despite California’s leading role in technology and innovation, policymakers and researchers are still unable to answer basic questions about student progression and outcomes without a longitudinal data system that tracks the largest student population in the United States.”
Pursuant to trailer bill language in the 2019-2020 Budget Act, more than 170 stakeholders from 15 state agencies, numerous educational institutions, research & policy organizations, and community groups have worked together over the past year to design a blueprint for the California Cradle-to-Career Data System. The workgroup will publish its final report to the Legislature, including recommendations about the governance structure, common data definitions, and robust security and privacy protections.
“California is one of just a handful of states that does not already have such a system in place,” Assemblymember Irwin said. “While existing data systems capture students in K-12 and higher education, we still lack the ability to do so as individuals progress from one level to the next. Each system also sets their own definitions for the data collected, which creates difficulty when trying to compare and analyze measures across segments.”
The proposed data system will be a neutral source of high-quality information, paired with tools to help a range of stakeholders take action on this information. The public will have open access to dashboards, a query builder, fact sheets, and a research library. Researchers will be able to request access to restricted data for authorized purposes. Students and their families will be able to use a suite of operational tools that support college and career planning, college-eligibility monitoring, electronic transcripts, and access to financial aid and other services
“As we await the final recommendations from the workgroup, AB 99 will be primed to move forward so that we can begin building this long-term investment,” Assemblymember Irwin said.
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme,,Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.